Groups Admonish NRC for Threat to Preempt States on Groundwater Protection

From Beyond Nuclear:

In a May 25, 2010 joint letter to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) from Beyond Nuclear, Eastern Environmental Law Center, Greenpeace, Natural Resources Defense Council, Riverkeeper and Union of Concerned Scientists, the environmental groups ask the federal safety regulator “to confirm in writing that the NRC recognizes that it is both legal and appropriate for the States to take legal action against licensees when drinking water is under threat.”

The groups’ request follows disclosure at the April 20, 2010 NRC public meeting regarding on-going groundwater contamination from nuclear power plants of a July 5, 2006 letter from the NRC Office of General Counsel (OGC) to the State of Illinois. The NRC attorneys threatened federal preemption if the State Attorney General pursued a lawsuit against Exelon Corporation’s for uncontrolled and unmonitored radioactive leaks from its nuclear power plants in the state that had polluted groundwater.  The groups admonished the NRC that since the agency “has chosen not to enforce its mandate to protect human health and safety with respect to multiple groundwater contamination issues, we strongly urge the NRC to cease any attempts to preempt state governments from exercising their authority to protect important economic and environmental resources within their borders.”

Read more